October 13, 2015
Seznec on the Potential for Cooperation Between Iran and Saudi Arabia
The Middle East is continuing to explode with multiple conflicts and there’s the danger a wider regional war could breakout at any point, but escalating conflict is not inevitable. The fact that the situation is so dire could ironically bring different sides to move ahead with compromise and coordinated efforts to solve key problems in the region. Long-time adversaries Iran and Saudi Arabia, while having to overcome sectarian strife that has persisted for hundreds and hundreds of years, will eventually take a realistic approach to their relationship and forge paths of cooperation that have energy at the forefront, according to a leading expert in Arab studies.
Iran and Saudi Arabia have the political will to move forward with deals in oil and gas that will benefit both sides, despite the animosity the two countries have toward each other and ongoing conflicts in the region, says a new paper by Jean-Francois Seznec, an adjunct professor of Arab studies at Georgetown University and a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center.